Cover image by Ron Mohring.
Published: February 29, 2012 [125 copies]
Roxanne Halpine Ward graduated from the MFA program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a past attendee of the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. Her work has appeared in the Greensboro Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and Zoland, among others. She lives and works in Philadelphia.
A Choir Tours Europe’s Cathedrals
In Basel you can climb the bell tower,
two hundred forty-six dark steps to emerge
where tiny gargoyles grin, invisible
from below. Augsburg’s has the oldest
stained glass windows in the world, the ones
that survived the bombs. One in Dublin holds
a stone sarcophagus so old the carved
writing on its lid has been worn smooth;
another, Salzburg, I think, the antique
gold-edged pipe organ that Mozart played.
They all blur together now, stone soaring
to arch, columns holding ages of weight,
all of it huge, cold, blessed. I can’t recall
which one had the mural of the apostles,
which the tomb of ancient silent bishops.
I only remember how, when we finished
singing, we all breathed in as the chord
hung in the air around us, palpable as a shroud.
Purchase Roxanne’s chapbook here.